by Angela Kempe
“Mom, don’t speak. I’m making a call.”
“I didn’t hear you making a call.”
“That’s because I’m thinking it.”
“Thinking it? I thought you were making the call.”
“I am making the call. It’s a new technology. You know what? Don’t worry about it. Just be quiet right now, Mom.”
Melissa clinched her purse nervously. The skin of her hands was spread so delicately that it was more like a thin layer of glossy sealant that had dried over her old bones.
She waited a few moments, then asked, “Are you done making your call?”
“It’s connecting. Just wait till you see Uralee Three, Mom… Oh, hold on!”
Melissa looked over at her daughter. Her expression was changing and concentrating, smiling, even appearing to laugh, yet she was not speaking. Melissa didn’t understand.
“Did they hang up?” she asked, her voice wobbling.
“No,” her daughter answered, annoyed. “I’m talking to him.”
“But I don’t hear you speaking.”
“Listen, Mom. I’m kind of new to this, so it’s hard for me to think at the same time I’m having a conversation with you. I promise I’ll explain later. Just be quiet, will you?”
At that, Melissa’s face became flush with embarrassment.
When did I become outdated? she thought angrily as she sulked in her seat.
She could see the planet growing larger and larger from her window. An orb of swirling blues and greens. She had flown a few dozen times in her life, but never really got used to it.
Just then, a stewardess passed by with a silver tray.
“Excuse me. Can I have a lemonade?”
The stewardess pressed a few buttons on her sleek tray and a coin sized wafer popped out.
“Here you go,” she said, passing her the wafer.
Melissa stared at the wafer, bewildered.
“No, I’m sorry. I asked for a lemonade.”
“Yes, a lemonade,” the girl smiled.